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Stop denying funding to opposition state assembly members

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The Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections (Bersih 2.0) calls on the Gabungan Parti Sarawak-led state government of Sarawak to provide equal allocation of RM5m to all Sarawak state assembly members.

The voters in the state constituencies won by state assembly representatives from PKR and the DAP should not be punished for voting opposition parties.

A petition led by Sarawak Bersih chairperson Ann Teo demanding fair allocations of funding to all elected assembly members was launched on 10 June 2018. Bersih 2.0 urges all Malaysians to sign the petition and effectively put an end to party discrimination. The petition can be accessed here. https://tinyurl.com/NoPartyDiscrimination

Similarly, Bersih 2.0 urges Barisan Nasional-led state governments in Perlis and Pahang and the Parti Islam SeMalaysia (Pas)-led state government in Kelantan and Terengganu to implement the same policy of equal allocation to all state assembly members.

The justifications provided – by Pahang Menteri Besar Wan Rosdy Wan Ismail that allocations to opposition assembly members depend on the availability of state funds and by Sarawak Chief Minister Abang Zohari Openg that funds will be allocated to opposition assembly members when they join the party leading the state assembly – lack democratic accountability, commitment and responsibility and are unacceptable.

Such clear bias at the state assembly is tantamount to the oppression of voters who have voted in opposition representatives – by punishing these voters for exercising their constitutional right to vote for candidate’s and political parties freely. This undermines the citizens’ right to vote which is protected under Article 119 of the Federal Constitution.

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Bersih 2.0 congratulates the other state assemblies for embracing a new beginning and granting opposition assembly members funding to ensure the happiness and wellbeing of citizens, especially the Johor State Assembly for granting equal funding to all assembly members.

We further welcome the statement made by Ayer Hitam parliamentarian and deputy president of the Malaysian Chinese Association (MCA), Wee Ka Siong, for writing officially to Pahang Chief Minister Wan Rosdy Wan Ismail and Perlis Chief Minister Azlan Man to give equal allocations to all state assembly members in both the states.

Bersih 2.0 calls on the federal and all state governments to rise above party politics and put the interest and wellbeing of all residents, citizens and voters above all else. Chief ministers and menteris besar must consider their constituents when exercising their powers in these capacities and not prioritise party or political interests.

Bersih 2.0 steering committee

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